SLIDELL REALTOR®, JOYCE ALBERT, EARNS HER MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL (MRP) CERTIFICATION
Joyce Albert is a knowledgeable, masterful Real Estate Agent/Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Slidell, Louisiana.
Slidell is situated on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, approximately ten miles across Lake Pontchartrain from the famed and beloved City of New Orleans.
Joyce was born in Kansas City, Missouri. At age 6 her family moved to Memphis, TN, then a number of other places, and finally settled in Kansas City, Kansas, where Joyce graduated from Wyandotte High School. She recalls, “It was an amazing school. The campus (24 acres) was more like a small college than a high school, and the curriculum was phenomenal. I feel fortunate to have experienced such a unique learning experience at such a young age.”
Upon graduation, Joyce attended Kansas City, Missouri Jr. College because, “I wanted to be a teacher” she says, “I admired teachers to no end. I was always a good student and I loved school with a passion.” However, due to finances, Joyce had to set aside her dream of being a teacher, and enrolled in business school instead. Here she aced double-entry bookkeeping. Joyce says, “It was so linear and logical, and since I’ve always loved mathematics, super easy for me!”
While in business school, Joyce was working as a waitress when she met the most handsome man, a Navy officer who happened to be stationed at the Olathe Naval Air Station just south of Kansas City. “Herb looked so damn good in his uniform, and had a quiet, shy quality about him,” she fondly reminisces. “So when he finally got up the courage to ask me for a date, and the manager said I’d have to work that night or be fired, I quit! Guess I just knew he was worth it.”
A year later, Herb discharged from the service and moved back to his hometown, New Orleans. A short time later, Joyce decided to join Herb in the Crescent City where they had a storybook wedding, replete with everything that a grand wedding entails.
They soon bought a home and Joyce became a stay at home mom to their two children, Jeff and Jenny. She says, “It was absolutely wonderful. Almost every day I would take them on my bicycle to get groceries, or over to the park to play. I really enjoyed those early years with my kids… memories I will cherish forever.”
When the children began pre-school, Joyce decided to register at the University of New Orleans to complete her degree. However, this time she majored in Accounting, a decision that has taken her far in her career.
Joyce’s life didn’t work out exactly as planned, and eventually she and Herb divorced. It was shortly thereafter, that Joyce was hired by a local Trucking Company as an accountant. She says, “I’d finish my work and ask my boss, who was a CPA, what else can I do? Well, luckily for me, he handed off so much of his work, that over time I learned most of the components of his job… or at least all the accounting functions.
So when he was later laid off and I was asked if I could do his job, I said ‘Of course!’ …And what I didn’t know, I’d learn. So they made me the Controller, and from there I started learning the rest of what I didn’t know about the trucking business.”
At this time, it was highly unusual for a woman to be in such a position in what was still a man’s world. Joyce says, “I started learning everything there was to know about 18-wheelers – things like ‘5th wheels’, ‘headache racks’ and ‘deadheading’. We had 80 over-the-road trucks, 120 flatbeds, and a 24-hr shop to keep up with it all. So when the owners asked about computerizing our operation, I was all in. We bought a mainframe IBM-36 (huge computers back then) and integrated all of the dispatch/sales operations, driver payrolls, and shop inventory/repairs – all feeding into one very sophisticated accounting system. What an adventure!”
Ultimately, Joyce became the General Manager and Executive Vice President of that company. So years later when the company was sold, with all of her knowledge and experience, it was only natural that she stayed in transportation. Joyce took over an inter-modal trucking company at the Port of New Orleans moving import/export shipping containers to and from the port.
As everyone knows, Hurricane Katrina was a game changer for many people living in the greater New Orleans area, including Joyce. It was shortly thereafter that Joyce decided to slow it down. She left trucking to become a Real Estate agent. “I welcomed the change of pace, as well as the freedom and flexibility to work my own hours. I was finally able to spend more time with my family, especially my grandchildren.” It was only a matter of time before she obtained her Broker’s license simply because, as she put it, “I just wanted to find out what I didn’t know.”
Having been a Military Spouse, Joyce was delighted when she discovered that the National Association of Realtors offered a Certification for Military Relocation Professionals. She says, “It was a natural pipeline that I needed to tap into. Growing up, we moved 8 times by the time I was 16. So I know what it is to change schools and not know anyone, or try to fit into a new house that doesn’t quite fit you. That’s why I go out of my way to know who my clients are, what’s important to them, and try to fit them with the right house… the one that feels like home.”